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Sometimes a person walks in the door for an interview, and you know he or she is going to bring tremendous value to whatever projects they become involved with.
This story is about one of those employees. To give a little context, Frontier has been a top military employer for multiple years as part of the 100,000 Jobs Mission pledge, which increases the hiring of veterans. We are strong supporters of our military personnel and their spouses and families and created a veteran internship program to create opportunities. Through one of those opportunities, we had an opening for a marketing internship in which one applicant, Demetria Harris, stuck out as someone who would bring a sense of discipline and enthusiasm to the job.
Upon finishing her career in the U.S. Army, Demetria joined a very large financial services company in a customer service role. Her ultimate goal was to be a marketing professional, but because of the siloed nature of her role, it was proving difficult to bridge the gap between where she was and where she wanted to be. A marketing opportunity at Frontier opened up, and Demetria sought out the opportunity to take her career in a path that she had envisioned.
Identifying high potential hires from the start
What set Demetria apart from her competition for me was her determination to achieve her career goals, and risking a lot to get there. She took a leave of absence at her prior company and used all of her vacation to complete a marketing internship at Frontier, which took serious guts. We told her that a full-time job wasn’t guaranteed at the end of the internship, but she came anyway, confident in her ability to impress. I admired her dedication to her career, and the entire department gave dual thumbs up after interviewing her because we could sense her passion for the job and knew that she would put her heart and soul into it. I’m a strong believer that her experience in the military helped shape her willingness to go the distance for our customers, which is why hiring veterans is such an integral part of our company values.
How can employers help facilitate employee growth?
High potential employees like Demetria give 110% at their jobs, so employers need to reciprocate the effort and do what they can to ensure employees are growing within their career path. In addition to regular check-ins and team meetings, we aim to involve employees in various projects that diversify their skill set and allow them to hone in on what interests them. This allows employees to get a better sense of where they want to go, especially those that are early on in their journeys. Demetria now has experience in advertising, sales enablement, CRM, and a variety of other important portable skills.
Another important aspect of the employee development process is setting goals. We meet with employees every six months to set and revisit goals and figure out ways over the course of the next six months to help bring those goals to life. Six months helps to set more realistic and specific goals, while meeting twice a year helps adapt to our changing business environment.
What can others who are eager to start a new journey learn from Demetria?
Simply put, if you’re passionate about something, you have to be willing to take a risk to get it. With that being said, the risk should be calculated. Think about your goals and come up with a plan to get there, but make sure that plan makes sense for you. To those who are beginning their journey, realize that your first job may not be your dream role, but it can later lead you to the role you want if you work hard and pay your dues. Be mobile. If you’re at a point in your life where you can relocate if needed, your employer will see you as a dedicated teammate. And above all, focus on delivering results. At the end of the day, those who deliver results will be noticed, and will be rewarded with new, more complex, and challenging assignments in the future.
Learn more about the 100,000 Jobs Mission and Frontier’s dedication to hiring veterans by visiting our website: https://frontier.com/careers/military-careers
This post is written on behalf of Cory Jones, who currently serves as Vice President of Commercial Marketing for Frontier Communications. In his role, Cory is responsible for all facets of business-to-business marketing for the company, including acquisition, retention, digital, social media, lead generation, and marketing communications.
Cory holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Texas Tech University. He lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two children, and is on an eternal quest to finally break par on the golf course.